Tuesday, January 4, 2011

MWSS warns of possible water shortage in MManila in April

The Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) on Tuesday warned its consumers of a possible water shortage in Metro Manila starting April as the water level in Angat Dam remained below normal despite rains during the past months.

Engineer Jose Dimatulac of the MWSS Engineering and Project Management Department said that water interruptions may occur in portions of Metro Manila, particularly in Parañaque and Las Piñas, after Angat Dam failed to reach its normal water level during the rainy months last year.

"Ang pagkukulang ng pagtaas ng level ng Angat up to December last year ay kagagawan ng El Niño, kaya hindi masyado nakarecover ang Angat Dam," Dimatulac said in an interview aired over QTV’s "Balitanghali" on Tuesday.

According to the dam monitoring team of the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), the water level at Angat Dam was at 203.25 meters as of 6 a.m. Tuesday, less than seven meters short of the normal 210 meters.

Dimatulac added, however, that the MWSS is still hoping that rains in January up to February this year will normalize the water level of the reservoir, which provides 97 percent of the domestic water supply in Metro Manila.

The MWSS likewise plans to ask the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) to further lower the Angat Dam’s water release rate from the current 39 cubic meters per second if the water level in the reservoir does not normalize during the first three months of 2011.

Last July, the government declared a water crisis over Metro Manila after water levels in Angat Dam reached record low due to the El Niño dry spell. 

The water shortage affected three million people in the country’s capital region, particularly those serviced by west area concessionaire Maynilad Water Services Inc. — Andreo Calonzo/RSJ, GMANews.TV

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